Three University of New Mexico men's basketball seniors will try to cap the regular season with a win on Senior Night in what will likely be the last game they ever play at the Pit.
Joe Furstinger and Sam Logwood are Lobo veterans, while Antino Jackson, a senior transfer, was added to the roster in the offseason to handle duties at point guard. The three have played their part in turning things around after a rough start to the season and now have their team in the thick of things in the Mountain West.
That trio will be recognized following Saturday's matchup against Fresno State, a release said.
New Mexico (16-14, 11-6 MW) and Fresno State (21-9, 11-6 MW) will both have plenty on the line when the ball is tipped. While both schools have locked up a first round bye in the Mountain West Tournament, the winner will be awarded the No. 3 seed next week.
The Bulldogs took down the Lobos in the first meeting of the season, erasing a five-point deficit with 10 minutes to play. They closed out strong on the way to an 89-80 triumph over New Mexico on Jan. 13.
But New Mexico was without two key players the first time around — Logwood and Troy Simons — and will have them and home court advantage this time.
Both teams have been playing well as of late. New Mexico enters the game on a season-high four-game winning streak, most recently dispatching of Colorado State on the road by a count of 108-87. Meanwhile, Fresno State had reeled off six straight before stubbing its toe against Wyoming last Saturday, but got back in the win column with a 54-48 victory over Air Force on Wednesday.
One of the keys to success for UNM has been its ability to hit shots from the outside — the team has made 10 or more 3-pointers in 11 straight games and posted an 8-3 record over that span. The last time New Mexico failed to do so was on Jan. 13 against the Bulldogs.
One thing people may want to keep an eye on is which team is able to dictate the pace of the game. Fresno State has been able to slow things down, limiting its opponents to just 68.1 points per game. The Lobos like to get out and run, posting an average score of 81.9.
If the game comes down to the wire, New Mexico has proved itself to be the superior free throw shooting team, enjoying a 76.8 percent success rate at the charity stripe, compared to the 68.9 percent posted by the Bulldogs.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and can be heard on 770 KKOB-AM Lobo Radio Network. The teams will tip things off at 7 p.m. at Dreamstyle Arena
Robert Maler is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers basketball, football and tennis. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Robert_Maler.